• Kyodo


With a stated goal for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics of third place on the medal table, Japan will need to make significant strides at this summer’s Rio Games, and as the six-month-to-go milestone passed on Friday one group of analysts is predicting bright spots for Japan in the Rio de Janeiro sun.

Dutch sports data and statistics company Infostrada’s Sports Head of Analysis, Simon Gleave, recently told Kyodo News that the company’s “virtual medal table” prediction model says Japan may have its best games ever in Brazil by winning a near-record number of gold medals.

“It is very possible that Japan could have their best games in terms of medals (won in total),” said Gleave, a Netherlands-based Briton who has crunched sports numbers since 2000. “We are projecting them only one medal below that, but with six months to go this could certainly change.”

With the participation of Russia’s athletics team uncertain given its IAAF drug suspension, Japan is poised to take advantage of any step back the track and field powerhouse takes. Also, Great Britain is unlikely to repeat the gold medal winning pace it set as host in 2012, giving Japan an opportunity to make a big improvement on its 11th-place finish in London.

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